Golfing predictions for 2017

January 23, 2017 4:21 pm

By Jon Woodroffe – World of Golf Master Professional

As I dust off my crystal Titleists, it seems the times they are a changing for the 2017 season.

Tyrell Hatton

Tyrell Hatton – a major winner in 2017?

The year that can only be described as the ‘Rise of St George’, will see the breakthrough of the next wave of English talent. Tyrrell Hatton, I confidently and controversially predict, will come from the pack and win a major. You read it here first.

Tommy Fleetwood will also go from strength to strength and in spite of a mediocre Ryder Cup debut, Matthew Fitzpatrick will be in the winner’s circle 3 times in the 2017 season.

But a real drive out of the blue will be Paul Casey returning to the top of the world and adding the most coveted piece of apparel for any golfer, The Masters Green Jacket.

In recent years, we have been amazed recently by the power and the brilliance of the young bucks, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory. Although I see them continuing to play top golf and dipping in and out of winning, they will lose their dominance and be joined by many more, making it a more exciting weekly tussle at the top for the big wins. Justin Rose and Thomas will be there, so will Hideki Matsuyama and Byeong Hun An, with guest appearances from Tony Finau and William McGirt.

On the other side of the coin, this year will see a fall from grace for some great names. Bubba, Phil, Furyk and Westwood will end the year in steep decline, but we will always remember their great play.

Finally, Tiger will challenge in a major again, he will come a close second in his home Open and although not victorious, he will get the crowds screaming like the old days, a great spectacle.

I also predict (and fervently hope) that golf continues to have a great image, free from controversies regarding behaviour, money or drugs. We want to be on the sports pages for all the right reasons. Spectacular shots, closely fought competitions, huge smiles and great sportsmanship – things that will inspire more people to take up our great game.

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